A new ingredient has been added to the story about the property of the National Palace groundsrelative to its original owner and the way in which it passed into the hands of the Dominican State at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Administrative Minister of the Presidency, Jose Ignacio Beatinghas arranged to register the land of the presidential mansion to obtain a certificate of definitive title under the understanding that one part does not have any title and the other was declared of public utility by the dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo.
This has generated the displeasure of the great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of Pedro Antonio Lluberes Saviñónthe man who donated the site to the State in year 1907 to build the Santo Tomás de Aquino University, now the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.
Carlos Lamarche and Rafaelina Lamarche, great-great-grandchildren, and Leo Lamarche Lluberes, great-grandson, tell the story that their family was irregularly alienated from those lands for 115 years.
They say that it all started when Pedro Antonio Lluberes Saviñón, a man rich in land and founder of Gazcue, decided to donate a portion known as La Generala to the State in 1907 to move the Santo Tomás de Aquino University there. Lluberes Saviñón had bought that property from Casimiro de Moya.
In one part of his properties he reserved a space to build the “La Aguedita” urbanization, in honor of his wife Agueda Rosa Saviñón Bona, with 14 houses for each of his children, where today the College of the Apostolate in Bolívar is located.
The land donated to the State was called La Generala because since the beginning of 1800 there was the ranch of Josefa del Monte Pichardo, widow of Juan Sánchez Ramírez, commander of the battle of Palo Hincado.
The university was never built on the site, until the United States invaded the Dominican Republic and built the General Customs Collection building there. When the Americans withdrew in 1924, the new president Horacio Vásquez moved the Government House there.
Trujillo demolished the residence and built the current National Palace from 1943 to 1947. Lamarche argues that, although Trujillo declared 43 thousand square meters of public utility by decree, of the total 70 thousand, the transaction to acquire it was never completed and that of that there is no proof check. The remaining part of the land is the one that the Government cleans up, since it was not in anyone’s name.
The descendants of Pedro Antonio Lluberes Saviñón claim that the land was never used for the purpose for which it was donated, which, according to the Dominican Civil Code, would revoke the donation.
Article 953 says that: “The donation inter vivos may not be revoked, except in the case of not executing the conditions under which it was made, due to ingratitude or new offspring.”
Carlos Lamarche claims to have in his possession a manuscript in which Pedro Antonio Lluberes Saviñón himself asked the Government for its return. He says that his aunt Altagracia Lluberes Herrera spoke with former President Joaquín Balaguer about the issue, who allegedly asked him to “leave it that way.”
In the book “El Palacio Nacional, 50 años de Historia y Arquitectura”, prepared by the Presidency of Leonel Fernández in 1997, it is recognized that “the land had been donated to the State by Don Félix Lluberes, a millionaire in land, with the purpose of the Santo Tomás de Aquino University being erected in them, having instead built the Virginia-style building that occupied the General Customs Reception Office.”
In this part, Lamarche notes that a mistake was made in attributing the donation to Félix Lluberes, who was really Pedro Antonio’s father.
The family says that they do not have a property title on the property because it was in 1912 when the law of registration of lands that were outside the Colonial Zone began to be applied, but they could not have done so either because they did not possess them. .
However, they rely on the manuscript in which Lluberes Saviñón demanded the return of the land, on the Government’s admission that it was a donation and on a map of the city drawn up by the architect Enrique Ernesto Paras and the surveyor Luis David García Mella in the year 1916 in which the owners of the lands of Santo Domingo are indicated.
That they ask for?
The three relatives request a rapprochement, that the memory of their ancestor be honored and, at least, a plaque be placed in the Palace with his name, which they have not achieved despite efforts to talk with Paliza.
On the other hand, they have empowered surveyors and lawyers to take their case to court, if necessary. They also talk about the possibility of doing it from the United States justice system, because it was that country that originally occupied the land irregularly.
They also intend to object to the demarcation and adjustment process carried out by the Presidency.
The director of the Executing Technical Unit of State Land Titling, Mérid Torres Espinal, in charge of the titling of the government house, explained to Free Journal that in the process of reorganization and demarcation, the opportunity has been open for objections from people whose rights have been violated, but who have not heard anything about this family’s claim.
In any case, he pointed out that everything will be subject to “they being able to prove it”, since “the proof that you are the owner is given by a certification”.
In any case, it warns about the expiration of the deadlines to claim after 115 years.
The titling process carried out by Mérido Torres Espinal is more than 90% advanced. The 25,265.35 square meters without an owner that are in the sanitation process have already been measured and are in a state of failure, so that only the registration stage remains. For the remaining 37,342 square meters, a demarcation is made, for which the measurement has already been made and the registration is missing. Finally, the two titles will be merged into one to have a definitive certificate. The Government has not had to spend money since all the land was “in the hands of the State,” Torres pointed out.